Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter


VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is celebrating Christianity’s most joyous day, Easter Sunday, under sunny skies in St. Peter’s Square.

Even before Mass began, a crowd of more than 100,000 was overflowing from the cobblestoned square. Many more Romans, tourists and pilgrims were still streaming in for the pontiff’s tradition Easter greeting at noon.

A rainstorm had lashed Rome on Saturday night, with thunder competing with the sound of hymns when Francis led a vigil service in St. Peter’s Basilica. Dawn brought clear skies and warm temperatures.

This year, the Roman Catholic Church’s celebration of Easter coincides with that of the Orthodox Church. Some of the hymns at the Vatican Mass were in Russian.

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